There may be as many potential toppings for baked potatoes as there are potato varieties. My personal favorite is the classic sour cream and chive combination. But it is being marginalized lately by the blend of bacon bits and Fontina cheese. On the other hand, those crispy fried shallots are pretty close to perfection. The real point is that the topping permutations are nearly endless. A few short years ago, no one would have believed that there would be kale chips to crumble. So once again the message is to play with your food. It’s fun.
4 large baking potatoes, thoroughly washed with a brush
Grated Swiss, gruyere, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Fontina or blue cheese
Minced chives, thinly sliced scallions or grated sweet onion
Crumbled potato or kale chips
Finely shredded parsley
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Place one oven rack on the lowest level and place a sheet of aluminum foil on it to catch any drippings. Place another rack higher but still in the lower third or half of the oven.
3. Pat the potatoes dry with paper towels.
4. Using a sharp fork, poke a few holes in the potato skins and sprinkle lightly with the Kosher salt.
5. Bake approximately 1 to 1¼ hours, until the skin is crisp but a toothpick inserted into the middle will meet with no resistance.
6. Make a lengthwise slit in each potato and serve with the toppings of choice